Sonny Bill Williams will let his football do the talking after embarking on an intense five-week training block designed to get the dual international back up to the speed with the brutal demands of the NRL.
With no time to waste, Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson said the 35-year-old would immediately begin working out in quarantined isolation on Friday having only touched down in Sydney late on Thursday night following his long-haul flight from the UK.
“I spoke to him this morning, briefly, so he’s happy to get back to Australia and get started with some stuff in a confined space,” Robinson said.
“The challenge of obviously coming home to where his wife’s from, bringing the kids back to Australia and the challenge of getting started to attack the back end of the season is high on Sonny’s list and the motivation’s right there.”
The Roosters’ medical staff and strength and conditioning team will be in constant contact with Williams, who is likely to make his first NRL appearance since the 2014 preliminary final loss to South Sydney in the round-17 grand final rematch with Canberra in the national capital.
Williams, his wife and four children will spend the next 14 days in a Sydney CBD penthouse.
“He’ll be quite available for us daily so we’ll have a program and he’ll get started in what he can, starting from today,” said Robinson, who declined to place any added pressure on the 2013 grand final hero and 2015 Rugby World Cup winner with the All Blacks.
Robinson was asked what the two-time defending premiers expected Williams to bring to the table after such a long absence from the NRL.
“That’s for us to work with him over the next period of time until he plays and for us to discuss and work out how we use him,” the coach said.
“I’m going to get a lot of those questions over the next few months – and so’s he – but I think actions is always what Sonny has been about.
“So it’s about us getting him ready, him getting himself ready and us improving and offering him that opportunity to perform.”
Robinson is confident his Roosters teammates won’t be distracted by the inevitable Williams sideshow as they strive to complete the first title hat-trick since Parramatta’s legendary 1981-83 side.
“The guys are used to different things coming up at all different times. Our focus is on tomorrow on the Gold Coast.
“It’s been our focus all week. We don’t have to discuss (Williams) at all and we’ve obviously known and are excited about him coming in but the task at hand is tomorrow.”